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September 27, 2013

Staff Predictions: Wisconsin Badgers

Follow Noon | Givler | Maks | Holleran | AndyMac

The Big Ten season is here and the Buckeyes are not getting a layup in week one (granted the B1G season did start for two teams last week). Ohio State and Wisconsin have played in some classics through the years... do our pickers see another one that goes down the final possession or see it going down a different way?


Kevin Noon - Publisher
I just don't see this game being as close as some other people do. That is not being disrespectful of Wisconsin, instead it is that I am truly buying into the Ohio State offense. Kenny Guiton? Braxton Miller? Who cares. Either quarterback will be able to run the offense (it is the same offense) with a good amount of success, Carlos Hyde will see extended minutes and Dontre Wilson will be an X-Factor. Wisconsin QB Joel Stave is not going to be able to get it done often enough and while Wisconsin will score a good amount of points on the ground, this year's edition of Ohio State's offense is nothing like the one that has come into this game for the past several years. Ohio State 38 Wisconsin 24

Patrick Maks - Staff Writer
It's cliche but it's so obvious that this game will come down to the trenches. Throw out Ohio State's high-flying offense if the Buckeyes' can't run the ball against a solid Wisconsin front. On defense, such a battle on the line will be a more arduous challenge. Ohio State's defensive line, while talented, is young. Some of those players have yet to face the Badgers' behemoth-sized offensive line. If Wisconsin can shove and slap around Ohio State down there, expect life for the Buckeyes' linebacking corps to be a long day at the office Saturday. The duo of James White and Melvin Gordon is arguably the best set of running backs Ohio State will see all season. If Ohio State can slam the front door on Wisconsin's rushing assault, it'll probably win. With the likely return of Braxton Miller to an offense already firing on literally all cylinders, the Buckeyes will certainly put up points. I think they'll find it tough to completely stifle White and Gordon but it'll be enough in the end. Plus, playing within the confines of Ohio Stadium is an obvious advantage. Ohio State 41 Wisconsin 27

Andrew Holleran - Staff Writer
Part of me wants to pick the upset here. Ohio State is due for a bad game, they haven't had one since the Gator Bowl in January 2012. Wisconsin's rushing attack scares me, especially when it will be attacking a front seven that is relatively week at the linebacker position. Add in the fact that Braxton Miller will likely be playing for the first time in almost a month, and a lot just adds up to a Badger victory. But I can't pick against Urban Meyer. Not yet, anyway. Under the two-time national champion, the Buckeyes have seemingly made every play that they had to when the game is on the line. Why should I expect anything different for Saturday? The Ohio State defense will force a turnover with the game on the line, and the Buckeyes winning streak will extend to 17 games Saturday night in prime time. Ohio State 27 Wisconsin 24

Marc Givler - Recruiting Analyst
This will be the first real test the Ohio State defense has faced this season as the Badgers have had success running the football against every opponent so far. A young OSU defensive line will have to rise to the challenge to stop Melvin Gordon who is averaging over 11 yards per carry on the season. I look for the Ohio State offense to continue to produce as Braxton Miller reclaims the starting QB spot and for the Buckeyes to get a big win in an electric environment. Ohio State 35 Wisconsin 24

Andy McLachlan - Team Writer
Should we be relieved? Or be worried? Let's be honest, Ohio State has not faced a solid team yet. Cal can put up numbers but their defense is appalling. I'm pretty sure I would rush for a buck 20 on them. So as we prepare for the late-night clash with the Badgers, apart of me is nervous (are we legit?) while the other is excited to see what this team can do against good competition. The battle between the OSU linebackers and the Wisconsin running backs may determine the outcome. Slowing down Melvin Gordon is on everyone's mind but the Buckeyes have been burned by James White before and despite being a freshman, Corey Clement has already proven he can carry the rock when needed. Also will Braxton Miller show any signs of rust? I expect a low scoring game in the first half that will lead to another exciting finish. Question is will it be Miller or Kenny Guiton leading the offense when they take the field, in attempt to win in the final seconds? Ohio State 30 Wisconsin 28

Tom Levenick - Time and Change Contributor/Former Player
In my opinion, the game this weekend in Columbus between Ohio State and Wisconsin is the biggest game of the entire season for the Buckeyes. We have had our difficulties with the Badgers over the years and Wisconsin will once again bring a strong running game, led by James White and Melvin Gordon and their always formidable offensive line. The Buckeye front seven will be the key to this game. Having Michael Bennett back along with Adolphus Washington will be a bonus, but the Bucks need to be "fired up" the entire game to slow down the Badgers. I expect the Buckeye Offense to be tremendous once again with both Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton getting time behind center. Carlos Hyde will make a difference in this game and the Buckeyes will come out on top in a close fought battle. Ohio State 38 Wisconsin 27

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